Sliding into a relationship whether friend-based or romantic is relatively easy. That’s why they call it “falling in love.” The difficult part is to recognize when a relationship cannot be repaired, or has played itself out, consequently, to know when to end it. The gnawing question is: Should I stay or should I go? Is it me or is it the other person? Relationships resemble a well-tended garden. Some will flourish and others need to be weeded to make room for true love.
Spring provides a great opportunity to weed out relationship clutter. In winter you are more isolated and lonely, but spring is upbeat with warmth and light, so you are more inclined to get out and sprout new relationships.
Here are 5 guidelines to help you decide:
- A relationship’s foundation is based on reciprocity. If your relationship tends to tip one way most of the time with you doing all the giving and getting very little in return, you are a poster child for termination. A one-sided relationship erodes your personal self-esteem as you are constantly being given the message that you don’t matter as much as the other. Unfortunately, your role has become to serve this narcissist.
- Your friend has become a parasite. This person depletes your energy, for example, keeps you on the phone for hours even though you are busy or tired and basically does not respect your personal boundaries. The most salient characteristic is that your friend has become a drama queen who has lured you into her soap opera, robbing you of your time and space over and over again as opposed to a friend experiencing a crisis.
- You have become joke material. This person slings barbs at you way too often. Disguised in humor, these sarcastic remarks hit their mark like an arrow and hurt. You might laugh along, but you feel demeaned.
- Then there is the green-eyed monster. Sure, jealousy is part of the human condition and who among us has not felt jealous of someone in their inner circle? However, when jealousy seeks to undermine your confidence or worse wishes you hadn’t succeeded –even hopes for your downfall, then this kind of jealousy becomes monstrous. Instead of helping you to emerge or supporting you like a cheerleader, this person will remind you of your shortcomings and even worse – augment them.
- A well-meaning toxicity has set into your relationship. You don’t feel physically well with this person, perhaps you get a stomachache or headache, and you don’t quite know why. This person dwells on your problems, conflicts or pain in your life, actually eager to hear the details, even interrogating you. A true friend would most likely transport you emotionally to a better place by distracting you or doing something fun with you to get away for a bit from your problems – in order to get some fresh perspective.
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